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Canon 5D Mark III

Kristina Petrick (Digital)

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Kristina Petrick (Digital)

Canon 5D Mark III
Styling by Gladiola Girls
Hair/Makeup: Bethany Jane
 
 

I'm relatively new to photography and videography, but I think a lot about "staying fresh."


 

Until 2013, the only creative work I'd ever done had been in writing and newspaper design, so branching out into a new medium reinvigorated my artistic flames to such an extant that I want to continue stoking the coals to see what happens.

 
 
 

Working with Matt has taught that me that if you want to stay sharp in anything, you have to keep pushing your limits. That way, each time you set out to shoot, write, run, stretch, or play becomes a brand new experience. It helps you maintain a "beginner's mind" as opposed to an "expert's mind," the latter of which leading only to stagnation.

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For this shoot, we wanted to do something different. We've taken thousands of photos in natural scenery over the last year, so instead of bringing the charming and talented Kristina Petrick out to the tall pines we've been drooling over for the past month, Matt did the unexpected and picked up the blue-grey muslin cloth you see in this set. (*These are the digital selects. Film scans are coming soon.)

 
 
 
 
 

The plan was to start somewhat traditionally — a studio shoot with a model in front of muslin, but from there to begin breaking the form by having Kristina interact with the backdrop, first in the studio and then outside.

 
 
 

I shot digital (and some 35mm) while Matt used his minty Contax 645. We experimented with light sources and fill lights, and stumbled upon some odd mixtures that we'll definitely be duplicating and expanding upon for upcoming projects.

 
 

This outdoor location is an abandoned library less than a mile from our studio. Kristina said wearing a somewhat cheery floral print in such unkempt scenery felt incongruent, almost like she were a ghost haunting the place she'd died. (Not shown: Photos of Kristina making creepy poses. Perhaps we'll bring those out later.)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We spent the day experimenting with locations and poses, eventually using the muslin as more than a backdrop. Trying to figure out how to use something that I've considered to be from an era of photography with less-than-refined tastes (see 1990s rec sports photos) was a challenge, and one that has helped me reconsider my tendency to dismiss an idea before really giving it a try.

 

 
 

 

Thank you again, Gladiola Girls, Kristina and b. jane, for being such pros and so much fun. Looking forward to our next collaboration!

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Brittany Homer | Aug. 2014 | Farmville, Va.

Model: Brittany Homer
Location: Farmville, Va.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lenses: 50mm 1.2, 85mm 1.2
Styling: Gladiola Girls 

ASHER: I left work at 5 p.m. this past Monday, and drove directly to the other side of town to meet up with Matt (Foster) and Brittany so we could head to Farmville.

My first time in the town (home of Longwood University) was about a month and a half earlier. We went to gather images for a client. On the way back to Lynchburg, we spotted a 100-meter stretch of bulldozed forest.

The drab expanse wore a jumble of dead tree parts — bleached white branches and trunks leaped into focus, an arresting contrast to all that green along the edges. It reminded us of a shoot the summer before in Lake Tahoe; we've taken pictures all over town, so it's important for us to catalog interesting locations that don't necessarily make you think Virginia, or even east coast for that matter.

While only an hour drive from Lynchburg, we probably spent just that long searching for that location. At least the hunt gave us time to get to know Brittany a little better.

Several turns brought us down many same-looking stretches of farmland. Beautiful, but not the vibe we wanted for this shoot.

The sun dipped, so we pulled off upon seeing an old building: bummed that we couldn't find the location but still wanting to shoot something.

We exhausted the location's options quickly, and hopped back in the car to see if anything else stood out to us. Either side of the roadway was lined with lush, tall trees. It seemed unlikely that they had just sprouted that high and that green within such a short period of time.

A few minutes of scanning the area for another location, and I caught a flash of light-colored wood through the trees. Matt pulled over and around a quick bend.

Sure enough, we had found the spot:

With renewed energy from the  find, we were able to through a bunch of poses using a Canon 5D Mark III and a previously unused Contax 645 (photos coming soon) before someone showed up and marched straight toward us with high-swinging fists — one hand clutching a cell phone, positioned to be dial-ready.

Matt preempted the conversation: "Hi, sorry! I know we're kind of trespassing." Understandable irritant, but we're photographers — not vandals.

"Yup."

"We're leaving right now. We just stopped to take a few pictures."

"For?"

"We just got this new camera, and both she and this location are very beautiful."

No smile. We were already walking back before the conversation ended. She appeared ready for a fight, but we were not about to give her one.

We found a nearby field along a public road just a few minutes later. No one could really kick us off there, at least.

I had no idea until we were on the way there, but Brittany was 17 weeks pregnant at the time of this shoot. We went simply to do a styled shoot with a good-looking friend, but wound up having it be a bonus maternity shoot.

It was good timing, considering she and her husband, a Green Beret, may be moving to the west coast (or farther) within the next couple of months, leaving Lynchburg for new adventures.

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Although the farm-look wasn't necessarily what we were going for, Golden Hour has a way of making most things look great:

Thanks Brittany — you were awesome!

 

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